Located at the most south-western tip of Germany, Freiburg is a medieval gem that sits on the edge of the Black Forest. Officially one of the sunniest places in the country, this picturesque university town is also one of the most eco-friendly. Made up of a maze of cobbled streets, gabled town houses and marvelous views from the nearby Schlossberg, the city also has a plethora of fantastic restaurants to try that serve local Swabian cuisine. From higher end establishments, medieval cellars to budget-friendly joints, we explore the best restaurants on offer.
Unsurprisingly, most of the dishes at Das Kartoffelhaus feature potatoes. Yet despite its focus on a staple food, this is a first-class restaurant and one of the best in the city. The restaurant prides itself on sourcing ingredients from regional farmers and as a result, potato varieties vary from season to season. In May, diners may be served the Berber and Charlotte, while towards the end of September, dishes are comprised of the Dita. Choose from boiled, fried or oven-fried potatoes, served with a delectable selection of dips, or go for the French potato gratin. Alternatively, pair your pommes frites with a juicy steak, schnitzel or sausage.
Situated in the heart of Freiburg, the Ganter Brauereiausschank gives its visitors a burst of German nostalgia within its traditional German restaurant and brewery. The ‘House of the Child Jesus’, as it was known back then, belonged to the famous humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam in the 1530s. Despite being moved to larger premises on the outskirts of town in the 19th century and being heavily bombed in 1944, today the brewery has returned to the inner city’s cathedral square. The historic restaurant attracts visitors looking to experience the great tradition of Ganter brewing. As well as a big selection of specialty beers, the warm kitchen also serves typical Baden fare, including horseradish soup, succulent pork cuts, schnitzel and Swabian ravioli.
In 1877, brewer Julius Feierling founded Freiburg’s renowned brewery in a building dating back to 1460. Situated on an island by the canal by Augustinerplatz, over the century, the establishment has brewed first-class light beer and served up simple German fare. In the winter, guests can occupy a wooden table inside in a spacious interior, complete with brass brewing colanders behind the bar. Alternatively, in the warmer months, guests can sample the 13 percent organic house brew in the large beer garden across the street and soak up the sun whilst eating a selection of pretzels, dumplings, sausages, schnitzel and steaks on offer. Feierling is German authenticity at its best.
The building in which Tacheles is situated dates back to the 12th century when Freiburg was first founded. A place of historical importance, the 900-year old cellar now houses one of the most popular German restaurants in the city, which serves up traditional Black Forest fare within its warm and friendly atmosphere. Attracting buzzing crowds of students and locals, Tacheles is known for its extensive schnitzel menu, offering 24 variations. Served with a choice of potatoes, rice, salad or spätzle, the selection ranges from classic pan-fried dishes with peppercorn or mushroom sauce, to more adventurous options with ham, pineapple and cheese, or spinach and egg. Come hungry as the portions are hefty.
Restaurant, German, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, European
Run by two Dutch brothers, Kreuzblume is located on one of Freiburg’s most beautiful streets, on Konviktstraße. The international menu offers up to six courses and a fine dining experience that is based on distinctly French influences. All the dishes are prepared daily with ingredients from the highest quality sources. Start with an appetizer of suckling pig and ginger, followed by an oxtail soup. For the main go for the veal shoulder with beetroot and cinnamon gravy main course. The large selection of cheeses pair well with the fruity regional wines. The establishment also houses a hotel, so if all the food and drink takes its toll, spend the night in one of the luxury en-suite bedrooms.
Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, German, European, Vegetarian
When visiting Freiburg, it would simply be a crime not to visit the oldest hotel in Germany. Zum Roten Bären dates from 1387 and over the past 700 years, the building has had over 50 landlords. The building has survived terrible plagues and major conflicts such as the Thirty Years War, yet today visitors continue to come to the hotel and restaurant to wine and dine on the best the region has to offer. From the dish of the day, the lunch special and the more extensive dinner menu, there is a delectable selection of soups, fish plates and meats to try, proving that Zum Roten Bären caters to all tastes even to this day.
Drexlers offers simple fare, without compromising on the fine dining experience. With a changing weekly menu, the kitchen serves Baden specialities that are intertwined with Italian and French influences. Naturally, everything is made in-house, including the pasta, and the vegetables, meats and fish are obtained from seasonal sources. To complement your meal, select a bottle of wine from the extensive collection. German wines rule in this region, so allow the restaurant waiters to advise you on a bottle that suits your tastes from over 380 options. Whether the fruity Riesling, full-bodied Spätburgunder, sweet Muskateller or the deliciously crisp Gutedel, almost every German wine region is represented here.
The climb up to Schlossbergrestaurant Dattler is certainly worth the effort, as diners will be greeted with a breathtaking panoramic view of Freiburg. Looking over the cityscape, enjoy the finest Baden cuisine and Baden-Württemberg wine in a romantic location. In the mornings, the restaurant offers delicious breakfasts, including freshly baked breads and croissants, while the lunch and dinner menus cater to a wide range of tastes. From soups to seasonal vegetable dishes and meats, the prices here are slightly higher than in other establishments in the city below but the surroundings make up the difference. For those simply making a pit stop on the way up Schlossberg, Dattler’s coffee and cake options are delightful, with many of the baked goods such as the Black Forest cake offering a superb taste of the local cuisine.
Located within an 11th century building in the heart of Freiburg, Schlappen is a welcoming tavern that attracts a friendly crowd of students and locals. The homespun atmosphere is relaxed, thanks to the dark wood interior and low lighting and makes for a perfect spot to enjoy a beer with friends, or sate your hunger with simple German cuisine. The food choices here range from potato plates, Swabian tarte flambée, pasta or hearty meat dishes. The events held here, ranging from whisky and absinthe tastings, to eccentrically themed parties, mean its a great place for a night out. A reliable spot for dinner and drinks before hitting the town, it is no wonder Schlappen has achieved cult status with the Freiburg locals.
Euphrat arguably serves the best kebap in Southern Germany. Right in the center of town near the university, this little hole-in-the-wall offers the most delicate döner meat, softest breads and mouthwatering falafel. The quality is fantastic and for those on a budget, the price is unbeatable. Opt for the classic flatbread or yufka, a thinner wrap option, which is filled with an abundance of fresh vegetables, bulgur and salad, which is drizzled with a light yogurt sauce. Whichever filling you choose, the ingredients are always fresh and sourced from the region. During lunch, expect to wait slightly longer for your meal, as for some years now, Euphrat has no longer been Freiburg’s best kept secret.